Exclusive Interview: App Store Analytics API

Stats iOS is a service that focuses on extended statistics of Apple's App Store. Here is an interview with Igor Korsakov, co-founder of this interesting API startup. In this free wheeling interview Igor introduces us to "grey" App Store Search Engine Optimization. The idea is SEO extended to Apple App Store results.

ProgrammableWeb (PW) - What purpose does the Stats iOS API serve?

Igor Korsakov (IK) - Stats iOS is built for those who need to rely on up-to-date Appstore data, but don't want to build complex solutions themselves.  Stats iOS provides an API that allows you to receive data effortlessly. On top of it you can build custom tools for in-house analytics / data mining, or even a commercial solution. The data can be integrated into data warehouse via well-known ETL tools for use in marketing strategy planning or to analyze past trends. With our latest addition - accessed via MySQL  protocol - you can build OLAP cubes for deeper looks into Appstore. We've also tracked all app changes since we launched.

PW - Can you cite cases where your API led to client success?

IK - Let's consider a client who wants to create a successful navigation tool. By using the Stats iOS API, he obtains popular applications of competitors, such as TomTom GPS. By getting the full application history, the client analyzes changing policy and price management strategy, and makes decisions based on that information.

Another example: After investing in a marketing campaign, a client is able to see social mentions of his product to estimate the positive impact of the campaign.

Also, we helped a small publisher search for - and evaluate - abandoned apps in the Appstore. Buying those apps generates traffic for the publisher's other apps. This is an example of "gray" Appstore search engine optimization, which is not really much spoken about on the Web. Some details are available here.

PW - What languages are supported for accessing the API?

IK - The API is RESTful, which means it is language agnostic and can be accessed from any tool (even from a browser, since we made it CORS-friendly). Also, we have just rolled out access to the core database via MySQL interface for those who are familiar with SQL queries (Apple's data is stored in PostgreSQL).

PW - Can you provide details on how Mashape enabled you to create the API?

IK - The biggest role of Mashape was in exposing the API to a larger user base. The Integration process was very friendly and now we can benefit from the growing user base and a search-engine-optimized profile page for free.

PW -  Describe your startup journey. How did the idea came to you, what were the various turning points, etc.?

IK - When we started developing applications for the Apple App store, we were wondering what was actually going on behind the scenes, but did not find a sufficient answer with existing tools on the market. So Stats iOS started as a product for us, and on the go it was getting more and more complex.  Also, we can say there is no instrument on the market that allows you to effortlessly dig into App store data, except Stats iOS.

Summary-Well, Igor certainly has stumbled on something exciting here- but I wonder if this can be replicated across other app stores including Microsoft's and Google's (Android Play Store or even Chrome Apps). Liberating the statistics behind the apps is one way to make great apps, and APIs are the way to share the data.

About Stats iOS

Stats iOS surfs and aggregates 15-30 gigabytes of data relevant to Apps and Appstore daily, so you don't have to. This data comes from official sources such as Apple's Enterprise Partner Feed, or official Twitter data resellers. The Stats iOS API provides an up-to-date Appstore snapshot for monitoring the iOS market and your competitors.

Igor Korsakov has over 10 years of experience in development process and program architecture. He also has extensive experience in team management, client communication, management of development process, application architecture, testing of newly developed features, code reviews, maintaining production server clusters, and creating the monthly production planning and results report for various business industries. He has a passion for the development process and is an enthusiastic researcher of how new software technologies can be integrated into company’s repertoire of products and services.